I found the Jodo Shinshu Correspondence Course to be a complete introduction to the teachings of Shakyamuni and Shinran, as well as a flexible and intellectually challenging course that goes beyond an intensive retreat. This course provides an excellent foundation and overview of General and Shin Buddhism, from its Indian origins to arrival in America, from Four Noble Truths to Primal Vow—the breadth and depth of material is deeply satisfying. Most rewarding is the scholarly feedback from the faculty-ministers, who provide hands-on guidance and encouragement to help the student develop a personal understanding of the essentials. Whether you are a beginner or seasoned learner, do not hesitate to enroll. You will find this course stimulating and profound.
Recent graduate of the Jodo Shinshu Correspondence Course
Almost 800 years have passed since Shinran revealed the teaching of Jodo Shinshu (Shin Buddhism) in Japan, following the path of Sakyamuni and other masters in India, China and Japan.  The teaching, with deep reflection on human existence and the realization of dynamic Dharma, has fascinated many people around the world.  Thus, the practice of Jodo Shinshu does not remain  solely in Japan, but has expanded to Hawaii, North America, South America, Asia, Europe, Australia and Africa.  More people are learning about Jodo Shinshu through ministers’ activities, publications and the internet.  As one response to their growing interest, we have established a correspondence course providing them, especially those who do not have access to temples nearby, with basic knowledge of Jodo Shinshu.
In addition, this correspondence course also aims to provide those individuals who have already joined Jodo Shinshu temples as members, with opportunities to deepen their understanding.  This is achieved through internet communication with instructors about specific topics related to Jodo Shinshu and Buddhism in general.
The Course consists of four subjects: General Buddhism, Shinshu I (Shinran Shonin’s life and the teaching of Jodo Shinshu), Shinshu II (the Three Pure Land Sutras and the Seven Masters), and History of Jodo Shinshu.  In two years, students will complete these four subjects and gain basic understanding of Buddhism and Jodo Shinshu.  In addition to course activities through the internet, we are planning to hold a summer workshop so that students and instructors may meet and communicate in person as well as online if they wish.
The Correspondence Course takes on a new challenge and plays an important role in transmitting the teaching to all people who seek further knowledge of Jodo Shinshu.  We are pleased to offer you the Jodo Shinshu Correspondence Course and welcome your enthusiastic participation in this new journey of online education.

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Course Overview

This is a 2-year computer-based correspondence course, allowing students to gain basic knowledge of Jodo Shinshu and Buddhism in general. Students will download text materials, submit assignments and receive feedback from instructors. Students will deepen their understanding through correspondence with instructors as well as benefit from reference materials such as video lectures, Dharma Talks and sutra chanting.  Students can also enjoy free discussion with other participants through the course chat room and messege board. In addition, we will offer an optional workshop every summer so that students may have the opportunity to communicate in person as well as through the internet.
On the first of every month, text material for the course, approximately 30 – 40 pages worth of reading, will be available to download.  An assignment, requiring a 500 – 800 word essay, will be included in the downloaded material and due at the end of each month.  In summary, each student will have one month to download, read, write and submit the assignment.  Some of the course reading will be based on the text used at Chuo Bukkyo Gakuin, a well-known Jodo Shinshu Institute in Japan.  Other text reading will be supplied by our own course instructors.  All program materials will be in English.
This course is non-accredited and is offered as a new and developing program without academic regulations.  A certificate will be issued upon completion of all subjects.

For more information, visit the Jodo Shinshu International Website